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How Investing In Preschool Beats The Stock Market, Hands Down

(NPR) There’s a growing body of research on the value and importance of high-quality early education programs — especially for disadvantaged kids. But there’s surprisingly little research on its impact over time. A new paper. “The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” co-authored by Nobel laureate James Heckman, helps change that. Heckman and his co-authors examine the many ways in which these high-quality programs helped participants thrive throughout life.

Christa Tinari works with kids at The Providence Center.

Lessons in Empathy

Three years ago, when Providence Center was rethinking its after school program they turned to community leaders to determine what the children needed: it was help coping with the brutal circumstances of living in Philly’s highest-poverty and most murderous neighborhood. So Providence Center hired Christa Tinari’s PeacePraxis, which brings research-based social emotional learning (SEL) programs into schools. Now, afternoons at the school revolve around a curriculum that teaches children skills of resiliency, conflict resolution, empathy, and self-awareness. Those skills, in turn, have helped students become more attentive and interact better with their peers and teachers in class—and beyond.